C-130

THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

Victims were firefighters from Wyoming, Arizona and Florida

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's office:  C-130 that crashed in Australia today is same one shown in photo at McClellan Air Base during an event last August attended by Newsom.

January 23, 2020 (Ramona) – A plane used to fight California wildfires last year and to train Cal-Fire pilots has crashed while fighting brush fires in Australia, killing three U.S. firefighters. A C-130 was in Ramona last August to train future pilots.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft built by Lockheed Martin and repurposed to fight fires was operated by Coulson Aviation of Canada, which has grounded its fleet to re-assess safety conditions and honor the victims.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the crew from Tanker 134 that wre lost during a tragic crash while battling the devastating Australia fires.  Cal Fire stands with you during this difficult time,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced condolences to families of the crew and Cal Fire for the loss of “three heroic American firefighters”  He adds, “This tragic accident reminds us all of the too-high cost of the scourge of wildfires, as well as the sacrifice of first responders from around the world. California and Australia, already united by the deadly threat of wildfires, now grieve this tragic loss together.”


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CAL FIRE ISSUES CORRECTIONS ON C-130 PLANE SHOWN IN COUNTY VIDEO, AFTER ECM INQUIRY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- On August 30th, the County of San Diego issued a news release titled “CAL FIRE Prepares To Add New Aerial Attack Plane”.  It incorrectly stated, “CAL FIRE plans in the near future to purchase a retardant-dropping C-130 air tanker and the agency’s pilots got a chance to train in the region this month.” 

A video did show a pilot training in Ramona, as ECM reported. Cal Fire Captain and Public Information officer Issac Sanchez, in the video, indicated that Cal Fire hoped to have a C-130 permanently stationed in the region within the next couple of years.

However, yesterday ECM received an e-mail from Thomas Dominguez, who says he is a former firefighter. He disputed the County’s statements and indicated that the aircraft in question is to be given, not sold, to Cal Fire by the federal government. He also stated that the aircraft is not currently equipped with a fire retardant system. 

CalFire has confirmed that these are truthful statements, and that this process will likely take a couple of years, though will ultimately make our region safer.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CAL FIRE AIMS TO BUY C-130 AIR ATTACK TANKER TO FIGHT FIRES LOCALLY

 

East County News Service

 

Update September 18, 2019:   Cal Fire has issued corrections on inacccurate information provided in a County press release and video. This plane and others are set to be given to Cal Fire by the federal government, not sold.  The planes are not yet equipped with fire retardant and are not slated to arrive in Califiornia likely for a couple of years, according to Cal Fire Captain and Public Information Officer Issac Sanchez. See our full update:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/cal-fire-issues-corrections-c-130-pla....

 

August 30, 2019 (Ramona) -- A C-130 air tanker on loan in Ramona has been used to train additional pilots this past week. Ultimately, Cal Fire’s goal is to purchase a C-130 to permanently base in our region, says Cal Fire spokesman Isaac Sanchez.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.